An all-female crew of sailors, scientists and film-makers are set to cross the Pacific later this year to fight plastic pollution.
The eXXpedition team will set off on June 23 for a five-week trip across the North Pacific Gyre where they will focus on micro-plastics’ links to environmental and human health.
The team will be led by British skipper and ocean advocate Emily Penn with head of science Emily Duncan, a PhD researcher at the University of Exeter.
‘We are aiming to assess the scale of plastics – from large pieces to micro-plastics – in the North Pacific,’ said Miss Duncan.
‘One of aims is to consider this in terms of important sites for post-hatchling sea turtles.
‘We also want to raise awareness of the devastating effects of this pollution.’
Within the North Pacific Gyre is a massive vortex of plastic known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, called that because of the huge amount of plastic that gathers there from Hawaii to Seattle.
A group of 24 women, split over two voyage legs, will travel over 3,000 nautical miles through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet.
Crew members will make daily trawls for plastics and pollutants and collect data for a variety of scientific studies.
Emily Penn, co-founder of eXXpedition, said: ‘We hope our journey from the tropical islands of Hawaii to the wild coastlines of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest will contribute to important scientific studies while inspiring action to protect these great places of outstanding natural beauty and importance.’
They will be sailing Sea Dragon, a 72ft scientific exploration vessel from Oahu, Hawaii to Vancouver, British Columbia and then from Vancouver to Seattle.